Dubai spares no expense when making its cityscape the most jaw-dropping in the world.

In the 2000s, the emirate dropped nearly $600 billion into constructing the world's tallest tower, biggest man-made island, and most luxurious hotel, among other architectural feats.

These aerial photos of Dubai capture the city's elegance and ambition.


Dubai is a city of superlatives. Located in the United Arab Emirates, the ritzy metropolis is home to some of the tallest, biggest, and most luxurious structures in the world.


REUTERS/Jumana ElHeloueh


These dazzling photos of Dubai, taken from the sky, show off the city's architectural feats.

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The Burj Al Arab, the fourth-tallest hotel in the world, dominates the Dubai skyline.


Jumana El Heloueh/Reuters


Completed in 1999, the hotel is on an artificial island in the Persian gulf.

Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters


The self-proclaimed "most luxurious hotel in the world" sits 919 feet out into the water, so it doesn't cast a shadow on the beaches nearby.

Jumana El Heloueh/Reuters


One of the hotel's main features is its heliport. It can be converted into a tennis court that, hanging 650 feet up, is the highest suspended tennis court in the world.

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The Burj Al Arab hotel's success inspired one of the most ambitious building projects ever undertaken, the Palms, a chain of manmade islands.

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The story goes that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, decided the city needed a "backup plan" once its oil supply ran out. Three islands were constructed off the coast to provide land for premium real estate and luxury hotels.

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Source: International Business Times



Palm Island Jumeirah, the smallest island, welcomed its first tenants in 2007.

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The Palms took just four years to complete, requiring 12 million pounds of rock and 53 million pounds of sand to build.

Matthias Seifert/Reuters

Source: International Business Times



Here's the view from the Atlantis hotel on the tip of the island group.

REUTERS/Matthias Seifert


Nearby, a man-made archipelago called The World has 300 islands in the shape of the Earth's continents. It's hard to tell from this angle.

Jumana El Heloueh/Reuters


Even from above, you can see the project is incomplete.

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The global financial crisis forced the developers into a standstill in 2010. Today, most of the islands sit bare and undeveloped. The project has cost roughly $14 million to date.

Matthias Seifert/Reuters

Source: Business Insider



Dubai Marina is also quite a sight to see.

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Developers dug a trench and filled it with water from the Persian Gulf. The artificial canal stretches 2 miles long.

Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters


Dubai Marina is home to Jebel Ali Port, the world's largest man-made harbor.

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Source: DP World



The marina also includes the Jumeirah Beach Residence, the largest single-phase residential development in the world.

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Source: Best Real-Estate Agent Dubai



The Jumeirah Beach Residence, which opened in 2008, includes 35 residential towers and five hotels. They offer some of the best waterfront views Dubai has to offer.

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There's 364,000 square feet of beach to accommodate all those guests.

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Source: Jumeirah Beach



Sheikh Zayed Road helps form E 11, the longest road in the Emirates.

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The city's main artery runs parallel to the coast, connecting the Palms and Dubai Marina.

REUTERS/Jumana ElHeloueh


The world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, is perhaps the centerpiece of Dubai's rapidly growing skyline. It cost $1.5 billion to construct.

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The glitzy pillar stands 2,717 feet tall — the rough equivalent of two Empire State Buildings stacked. Here's the view from the observation deck on the 124th floor.

Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters

Source: Burj Khalifa



Don't look down!

Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters


The tower took five years to build and required as many as 12,000 workers on site on a given day. It was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the same firm behind One World Trade Center.

REUTERS/Steve Crisp

Source: Burj Khalifa



Upon completion in 2010, Burj Khalifa used 31,400 metric tons of rebar, or reinforced steel. Laid end to end, the steel would stretch a quarter of the way around the world.

Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters


It won't be the tallest for much longer, however. In October, a crew broke ground on what may be the newest tallest building in the world, simply known as The Tower.

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Designed by famed Spanish-Swiss architect Santiago Calatrava, who was also behind the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, The Tower is expected to top off in 2020.

Courtesy of Emaar

Source: Business Insider


Source: BusinessInsider